David Valadez wrote:
Then there is the issue of being discouraged and/or dissatisfied with one's own rate of progress. This latter issue is really the big one -- in my opinion. Its solution can only come from a total re-cultivation or transformation of the self. By that I mean to say that such issues can only be reconciled by cultivating a deep, valid, and creative experience of self and/or self-identity. On the positive side, that is supposed to be a big part of training.
I'm reading "Moving Toward Stillness" by Dave Lowry right now and one of the points he brings up in one of the essays is that our culture's concept of time is so much more immediate than that in the past.
We think in hours and minutes instead of weeks and years for getting something done. So, even though we all know that studying budo is a lifelong commitment and that we will take years and years to understand only a little, we still worry about our "rate of progress" in terms of months instead of years.
Perhaps the "re-cultivation or transformation of the self" you mention should also include recognizing that progress takes time and to change our concept of time to include years and decades.
I haven't really digested everything in this book, but I thought this idea might be an interesting point in this thread.